And how are you lovely people today? Warmer than Raymond and me I hope! It is freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezing here in Wellington! What a week we are having with our polar blast, it is truly incredible! I said last week in a post that I had never seen snow drift past my window, ever, ever, ever, so seeing about five minutes of it a week ago was quite exciting. Well, that was nothing compared to the last two days! Wellington does not get snow, the news is saying it has been 50 years since it happened last… which accounts for the excitement yesterday in the city as snow fell from the sky for hours and hours. I was at polytech when it began and my tutor had to stop the class because no-one was paying attention to the DVD we were watching, we were all looking at the snow… snow IS more exciting than solution-focussed couples therapy, you may agree! As Wellington is not exactly built for snow, lots of roads have been closed and busses have stopped running as we are built on steep hills which are dangerous when icy. We’re due for another blast this afternoon, so I’ve refrained from going to work for what would be a very quiet day anyway, and I have an unexpected day at home with my knitting and spinning and a whole pile of readings to do for class.
There’s not much snow to be seen from my house as I live on the hills near the sea and get hit with the wind straight from the South (and North, what a fun place to live!) so it hasn’t been settling, but there are some amazing photos of it all around the city HERE (lovely aerial shots) and HERE (love the lion in the snow, BEAUTIFUL!) For those of you who are quite used to the snow, you may be laughing at us here in Wellington, but this is quite an event. Yesterday when I left polytech I walked dow to the bus in the snow, my first time ever being snowed on and it was refreshingly beautiful, cold but quite amazing. I’m glad to be home however, because snow-storms are not so fun when you are out and about, they are much more enjoyable from the comfort of my rocking chair! Sadly the snow has trapped KB in Taupo where she has been visiting her family… the bus due to bring her back to Wellington has been cancelled due to unsafe driving conditions so cross your fingers for her that she will get back home tomorrow. Raymond is missing her very much.
Enough snow talk!
Today’s post is about this and that… lots of little things that I’ve been up to lately. I’m still working on my hand dyed socks, I’m onto the second foot so have nothing to show, but am very excited about showing you as the colours are so fantabulously awesome! So let’s start with some spinning!
Precious Jewels! The stunning hand dyed fibre I bought from HERE
Her colours are perfectly, amazingly vibrant and I loved spinning this lot, 100gms of merino. She has more in her felt shop if you are tempted! I know I am, but I am drowning in roving right now so need to take a little shopping break!
I plyed this with cotton and ended up with 222 yards of beautiful colour, I’m looking forward to making this into something special to see how the stripes look… but for now it is languishing in my stash making me very happy!
Next is Miss Misery…
Irresistable Maude and Me loveliness, this braid is 110 grams of Perendale in the colourway Miss Misery. I saw this in her etsy shop the other day but it had been reserved… so you can imagine my excitement when I found one at Holland Road Yarn Company a week later… it was mine immediately! I began spinning it on the afternoon KB left for her trip up the country, and fell in love with the colourway and the way it spun… I kept going and going and going, and then when I had finished the two singles I needed to see them plyed or I wouldn’t be able to sleep, so I plyed them and by the time I looked at the clock to see if it was bed time, it was the middle of the night! Miss Misery makes me extremely happy!
I must state here, and many spinners who have spun Maude and Me will agree, that it is the best out there.
So what else… it looks like I’ve been on a spinning marathon, but this is the result of a couple of weeks of spinning!
100gms of corriedale dyed by Maria who sadly does not like computers so doesn’t sell online also passed through the magic wheel to create this beautiful and thrilling skein of colour!
Mum and I are waiting for more dyes to arrive from Ashford so we can get cracking with some more dyeing fun… we’re a bit addicted to it right now! We did have some primary colour pots left over from the last dyeing session, so had another bash at some sock yarn on the weekend. I bought one of the four skeins home as I want to overdye one that didn’t turn out quite how I wanted it to, but I’m thrilled with this one…
Dyeing is still very much trial and error but we are learning a few things along the way… like with the exhaust dyeing method that we use, if you add the dye when the water is boiling the colours become more vibrant…
Also, if you want brighter colour, allow the dye to exhaust, then add a little bit more, let it exhaust, add a little bit more… a little at a time otherwise it will turn black. All very simple things but not so simple when you are starting out!
We also tried over-dyeing which I will tell you about when we have done more. I have big plans thanks to some fab ravelry inspiration which I will share when I get around to it! So many ideas, so little time!
So back to the spinning… I was struggling with my spinning last week, learning new skills can be frustrating at times and when I spun one of the colourways of merino that I dyed myself I get quite annoyed that it was becoming all slubby and uneven and there seemed to be nothing I could do to make it lovely and even. I finshed it, however, and plyed it together and decided that I could accept at this stage that my spinning occasionally comes out quite rustic. I named it Candy Floss as it is exactly like spun candy floss…
I haven’t made much with my handspun yet (as it takes so long to spin it is for knitting purposes only as crochet uses up so much more yarn) so I decided to try knitting something cute and cuddly with my skein of candy floss.
Meet Harriet the Handspun Monster.
The pattern is Baldwin the Bathroom Monster from Rebecca Danger’s Big Book of Knitted Monsters which is so fabulous, I love it! Over on Ravelry I looked up the Baldwin projects and to date there are 102 of them, all with such distinct personalities! I loved having a look through, these monsters give me the giggles majorly so make sure you pop on over to enjoy them all!
Harriet is sitting on KB’s chair and every time I look up I see her and start to laugh, I can’t wait to get started on my next one! And I’m thrilled with the way Candy Floss knitted up, it’s exciting to see the stitches and how even they are compared to my first few skeins… I’ve still got lots left so Harriet will have a sister before long!
OK then, I believe I have exhausted myself of photos and stories, so I’m off to start my next monster! I’ll leave you with a Richie mosaic as he is growing so fast he will have changed by the time I see him next!
Thank you for popping in to visit us today, I hope life is full of happy moments for you!
Lots of love from Alice and Raymond XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX